January 24, 2008

No Savings Allowed

I like low taxes and I like getting tax refunds. I like money.

But from a policy perspective, I’m not sure I like the idea of nearly every man, woman, and child in the country getting cold, hard cash from the government. That, however, looks like exactly what is going to happen. $600 for each adult taxpayer and $300 for each dependent minor. We're already running a horrific deficit -- and selling that debt to China, which doesn't seem like a particularly good policy (for either us or for China, when you think about it). I don't know that this is so poorly-concieved that it counts as a Really Bad Idea, but it just doesn't seem necessary to me.

Consider -- The Wife and I are already in relatively comfortable circumstances; at least, we're comfortable enough to want for no necessities of life and to be debating where and when we will take a vacation this year. I'm well aware that we're quite fortunate to even be able to have that discussion. We will simply be given twelve hundred unearned dollars, and an instruction from the government that we go spend it on something. No, we are not to put it in our retirement account. No, we are not to use it to pay down the mortgage. We should buy a big-screen TV with it, or go on a nice weekend trip. In short, we are to inject the money, immediately if possible, into the economy. So are you, Reader (assuming you are a taxpayer in the United States). Buy groceries if you like, or hire a contractor to help out finishing up that home improvement project. But whatever you do, don’t save it. Don’t invest it. No, no, no! Be a good American, and consume. Oh, and please remember this in November!

No comments: